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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Thursdays just seem to be "Ride Day" around here!

Yes, yes, this blog has been a bit quiet this week!  Life has gotten in the way, and I've had little time for ye olde blog.  It's not due to a lack of stuff to write about, though.

So, how 'bout that rain?  (It's okay to complain about rain mid-way through March).  We had a dry mid-January to mid-February, but if there's something that Cascadian weather abhors, it's lack of balance.  If we have a "too dry" month or two during the wet months, she'll give us a "too wet" month or two to make up for the dryness.  Like this March, for instance.  We're almost at 5 INCHES of rain for March, and the average for this month is around 3.  AND THE MONTH IS ONLY HALFWAY DONE.

So it's safe to say this type of weather is not that conducive to a "Hey, let's go ride a bike!"* type of attitude.  But it isn't all that bad, though.  We're getting more of the "spring" pattern type of rain, which is 15-20 minute downpour with maybe hail, then 1 1/2 hours of sun.  So we have some good intervals of riding, just hope to be under an awning for the other 20 minutes.

And that's what it was like on St. Patrick's Day, Thursday March 17.  Yes, I know that you are supposed to "wear green" for the holiday, as April reminded me, but since I'm a) already (part) Irish and b) a retro-Grouch, I choose to ignore silly things like that.  My concession? The Gaelic knots on my brown Ahearne  socks.

And the purpose of the ride? A route test of the upcoming Three Speed Ride.  I was on the fence about whether or not I needed to do this, as I already had a decent route mapped in my head. I know, I tell everyone else to "ride their route" before they lead a bike ride, and here I was, not following my own advice!  Maybe I've gotten too cocky, and feel that I know the city too well to need to do this?

In any case, I went on the ride.  I'm glad I did.  Not just for the simple fact of going on a ride, which was good enough. But I ended up tweaking things a bit, and doing a slightly different routing.  I wouldn't have done this if I had just mapped it out from memory. For instance, I added a couple stops on the route that I wouldn't have thought of doing if I didn't ride the route!

What did I ride?  The Raleigh Wayfarer would have been appropriate.  But I haven't gotten a cycle computer installed yet, and I wanted to measure the distance. So I took the Long Haul Trucker instead.  It was fun riding the LHT! It makes me think of all the touring I'll be doing this summer.

Where did I ride?  Well, I'm not going to divulge much since the route is still a mystery.  But I will say that I made it all the way to St. Johns. (Whether or not we'll go to St. Johns on Saturday? You'll have to find out!)  I managed to get to the N Willamette Blvd Bridge over the old SP&S/BNSF railroad cut, just as Amtrak's Empire Builder was crossing the bridge across the Willamette. How do I know it was the Empire Builder?  The Builder leaves Union Station at 4:45pm and takes about 10 minutes to get to the bridge.  And it so happened I got to the bridge at 4:55!  

Yes, I'm a rail nerd.

Along the ride I saw a beautiful gold Raleigh 3-speed locked up.  I wanted to put a flyer on it but of course it was raining at that point.  I waited a few minutes to see if the rain would let up, but it didn't so I just stuck a card on the rack.  Hopefully the Raleigh's owner got to the bike before the screenprinted handbill turned to pulp!

*Sorry, Dottie! And Trisha!

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